Skip to main content

The most common mistakes made by learners of English

As students of the English Language, you need to have tips to focus your learning so that you can fine-tune your language skills. So, check these tips about the most common mistakes made by learners of English and allow them to help you to develop your skills. SEDA Online believes in education for everyone and we know you can achieve your goals with a little bit of guidance.

Pronunciation

  • Pronouncing silent letters; pronouncing the ‘t’ in ‘castle’.
  • Pronouncing the word ‘coffee’ as ‘cough’.
  • Pronouncing the word ‘of’ as ‘off’.
  • Pronouncing the letter ‘i’ consistently as /i:/ rather than one of its many proper pronunciations.
  • Using the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable of 3+ syllable words.
  • Pronouncing all words ending in -ed as ‘ED’.

Grammar

  • Using the wrong prepositions in the wrong context; ‘in home’ vs ‘at home’.
  • Confusing when to use to + inf. Verb, or gerund.

✓        “The importance of having a daily study routine’.

x         “The importance to have a daily study routine’.

  • Using question words… Who, What, Where, When, How, Why… properly.

✓         “How does this weekly routine work, to help me learn English?”

x          “How this week routine works to help me to learn English?”

  • How/when to use Present Perfect; have in present + past participle of main verb.
  • How/when to use Past Perfect; had + past participle of main verb.
  • How and when to use Conditionals.
  • Speaking in infinitives rather than conjugating verbs for their subject in the present.

✓         “She works at a hotel’.

x          “She work at a hotel’.

  • Using comparatives incorrectly by adding ‘more’ before an -er comparative.

✓         “Mark is taller than Tom”.

x          “Mark is more taller than Tom”.

  • Using superlatives incorrectly by adding ‘the most’ before an -est superlative.

✓         “Pistachio is the best flavour of gelato!”

x          “Pistachio is the most best flavour of gelato!”

  • Mixing comparatives with superlatives and vice versa.

The more best.            The more better.         The most better.


READ MORE: 45 words that differ from American to British English

Vocabulary

  • Thinking that vocabulary which looks and sounds similar to your own language is the same.

“Embarrassing” in English is not the same as “Embarazar” in Spanish.

  • Bad idea: Directly translating vocabulary words from your own language into English or entire sentences… the meaning is often not the same and you will confuse native speakers.

Google translate and direct translations are not always your friends… it’s the same for English speakers directly translating into another language; the translation can be wrong and very difficult to understand, or even insulting!

For some words and phrases, there are simply no direct translations from one language to the next, that’s what makes languages unique and fascinating. In these cases, we need to learn other words or phrases which, essentially have the same meaning.

Do you want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

Share:

How to create a weekly routine to organize your studies

As a language learner and part of the SEDA Online Study Team, you need to focus your studies and provide yourself with the structure you need to succeed and live your dream of being a great English speaker. So, it’s important to have a weekly routine to organize your studies.

The SEDA Education Team and Teacher Lydia O’Donnell have created a positive, progressive, and realistic 4-week study schedule template that you can use to make a schedule for yourself.

The Weekly Routine we have created is based on studying for 90 mins. per session and 3-4 times per week on a rolling schedule that you can rely on week after week for consistency and reinforcement.

We have also suggested which skill to practice each day and a minimum of 2 skills per session. There are four skills to language; reading, writing, listening, and speaking (R,W,L, and S). To make sure you get even and accurate practice, we ensured that you practice each skill at least two times per week.

Start using the SEDA Study System today and you will start seeing results after the first 4 weeks! The great news is that you have access to lots of Listening and Reading activities with all our great videos and if you make yourself pause and take notes, as well as speak along with the teachers, you can practice all four skills easily! Welcome to the SEDA Study team, we are happy you have joined us. GO, TEAM!


READ MORE: 5 bad habits to drop when learning English

Weekly Routines

  • Allow for repetition.
  • Allow for consistency.
  • Great method for learning any new skill.

Weekly Routine Template

WEEK ONE

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
W + RR + LL + SS + W

WEEK TWO

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
W + RR + LL + S

 

WEEK THREE

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
S + WW + RR + LL + S

 

WEEK FOUR

SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
S + WW + RR + L

Do you want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

Share:

Tips to learn tenses in English

One of the hardest steps to learn English is learning the verbal tenses. These many times get confusing even because of their names, since some have “present” in their names but talk about the past, making learning more complex. And that is why we are here to give some tips to make learning easier.

TIP 1: Practice tenses, use them and get feedback

Although the grammar explanations in books are welcome, just like those coming from teachers, real understanding comes from using them in writing and speaking and getting feedback from people. The theory by itself doesn’t work when you learn a foreign language.

This doesn’t mean grammar explanations are useless. In some cases they are essential. However, what matters the most is the way you use them. Read explanations that are brief, clear and concise and use them as a reference.


READ MORE: Easy tips to improve your English

Once you have the basic knowledge of the tense, try practicing it, as much as possible, be that in conversation (you can have a partner for that) or writing. So, get feedback and try to understand what you got wrong. Use these comments to understand how the verbal tense works and read the grammar explanations again after a while.

Read the explanation of a simple grammar > Practice the structure > Read again and reinforce the grammar structure.


READ MORE: 7 important reasons to learn English now!

Tip 2: Use visual resources whenever possible 

A practical tool that helps you learn fast and intuitively the mechanism behind verbal tenses are the visual aids known as timelines. A visual timeline is a very simple manner to show how to develop or interact with each other talking about a period of time.

Timelines are used with frequency when verbal tenses are discussed, and you can find many online, or even draw your own! Check some examples:

“I’ve been traveling for two months”

You can see this with a simple timeline like this:

This timeline shows the action (trip) started two months ago and it is still happening.

“I had been traveling for two months when I got the news about my friend”.

This timeline shows that the trips were happening two months before another event happens (news about my friend). Using the timeline we can also tell that all the events happened in the past, but we can’t be sure of how much time before.

Just like these examples try to align the sentences, you can have a clearer idea of which tense is necessary to use.

Want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

Share:

Examples of homophones in English

Homophones are words that sound alike when pronounced but have different meanings. There are many words like that in English. This is a common mistake when people write, generating confusion. Here we show some examples of homophones!

To: used in the infinitive of a verb and to give a meaning of direction as well

Two: the number

Too: meaning “as well” and “a lot”

Stationary: something that doesn’t move

Stationery: office objects such as a pen, stapler, etc.


READ MORE: 10 fun facts you didn’t know about English

Compliment: something nice to say to people, praise them.

Complement: extra, something additional.

Know: to be acquaintance with someone or something, to be aware of something.

No: denial.

Raise: to lift

Rays: sunshine, beams of light

Res: plural of “re”, from the musical scale


READ MORE: 45 words that differ from American to British English

Rice: a plant which produces edible grains

Rise: improvement, 

Whole: complete

Hole: empty space in something

Want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

Share:

How to learn English with videos on Youtube

Since the creation of many platforms like Youtube, they’ve grown to have a lot of useful content for the daily routine. One example is learning English by watching videos on Youtube.

Hundreds of videos are uploaded daily to help strangers learn the language in an interesting and interactive way.

SEDA College doesn’t stay behind, in our Youtube channel you can find videos of teachers from our school, where they explain things from the daily routine, with which you can reinforce your knowledge in English. 


READ MORE: 5 websites that will really help you to learn English

To have access to more videos like this one, just check ou Youtube channel by clicking here to check SEDA College Online’s video. Don’t forget to activate the notifications to receive new videos posted. Also, check our Facebook page and Instagram.

Want to learn English online? Access now SEDA College Online!

Share:

Opportunities that you will lose for not knowing English

Being in your comfort zone and not learning a new language makes you lose many things that the exterior world can offer. If you don’t believe us, here are some examples of opportunities that you will lose for not knowing English!

1- WORK

It is not enough to know the numbers or something else. In a job that requires English as a second language, it is important to know how to listen, write and speak in an understandable way. And if you are one of those who thinks you will never travel abroad to ask for a job and therefore think it is not important to learn English, let me tell you it is not even necessary to leave your country.

Nowadays, globalization has expanded many businesses and they have as the main language the English. Also, to get a job online, even if the Portuguese is necessary as the first language, English is essential to understand some things.


READ MORE: 7 tips that will help you in a Job Interview in English

2- MAKING NEW FRIENDS

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to connect with people all around the world, including those who speak English and other languages like French, Italian, German, among others. Even if your native language is not English, most of them have it as a second language so it would be easier to communicate.

This also applies to when you travel, making it easier to make friends for life, and even building a network that can last for a long time, making it possible to visit them in the future or getting a job.


READ MORE: Easy tips to improve your English

3– GETTING SCHOLARSHIP

Doing a course abroad, a master, a degree, whatever you need, can be possible through English. Some organizations in your country and even in your own school offer scholarships to prepare you better and the language is a must in this case.

So, what else are you waiting for? Don’t miss opportunities and start learning English now. You can start our courses online at SEDA College Online.

Share:

SEDA College Online raffles scholarship for exchange in Ireland

If you dream about studying on the Emerald Isle, SEDA College Online released a promotion that will raffle a scholarship to study in Ireland. Check below the details!

Everybody who subscribes to our yearly membership plan on SEDA College Online during the month of September and October will automatically be part of the promotion and have the chance of getting the scholarship to study during 4 weeks in Dublin, Ireland, with SEDA College.

SEDA College in Dublin

That is it, besides learning English online on the platform, you will have the opportunity of living the exchange program experience, study with students from all around the world and learn with native teachers!

But don’t wast time, the promotion is valid for those who subscribe until the 31st of October to the yearly membership plan. Check the rules here.

Access https://sedacollegeonline.com for more information!

Share:

SUPER TIPS: How to practice the four English skills

How about some tips for practicing all four English skills? Teacher Lydia O’Donnell has brought you information and cool ideas to help you with your Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking in English. Check them out!

Practicing the four English Skills: Reading

Reading is a skill that is often part of practicing other skills, however, sometimes we need to isolate skills and practice them with only one other skill in order to really see big improvements.

To focus on reading, we recommend reading shorts stories, poems, news articles, or magazine articles about subjects you enjoy or know something about. If you have an interest or some previous knowledge, this will help you to understand the general idea of what the meaning of each sentence is. Writing over again what you read really helps you to identify new words and their meanings again and allows your hand to feel comfortable forming the letters of English words further solidifying them in your memory.

We also recommend not getting frustrated or spending too much time and energy on the few words you don’t understand, go for the ‘bigger picture’, or the bigger idea. Small details can be written down and looked up in a dictionary at a later date.


LEIA TAMBÉM: 15 tips to learn English by yourself

TIPS

  • Using SEDA Online videos…

Watch a video at least 2 times and write down everything the teacher writes on the whiteboard. Write down all questions in quizzes, slides, and worksheets provided on a separate sheet of paper or in a notebook. Use your dictionary to look up new words.

  • Using any book magazine or magazine, find a paragraph that you have read to copy down into your notebook. A paragraph in English is a minimum of 4 sentences in one grouping.
  • Find a good book to read in English and simply read for pleasure. Recommended books include, “The Old Man and the Sea”, “The Giver”, and “Of Mice and Men”. These books are short and can be read quickly, but still, provide some challenging vocabulary to keep you learning. Reading a book in its entirety, despite it being short, will build your reading confidence and allow you to take on a more challenging material.

Writing

Often practiced alongside reading or listening, writing is essential in modern communication with email and text messages dominating all communication from business to personal.

TIPS

  • When learning a new grammar point or vocabulary word with SEDA Online or anywhere else, be sure to write down the rules, definitions, grammar structure, and any other relevant information that the teacher mentions. Often whatever the teacher writes on the board is essential for you.
  • One new grammar or vocab has been written down, practice writing at least 5 sentences that you create on your own with the new grammar or vocab. This will be great writing practice and create long-lasting understanding.

Speaking

Speaking practice can come in many forms, however, all of them require the learner to be comfortable and confident in themselves. If one is concerned about appearing stupid, then they will not be able to achieve the English pronunciation and clarity of accent that they wish for. Believe in yourself, you can do it and it’s ok to make mistakes!

Speaking is often practiced alongside listening but can be practiced with other skills.


READ MORE: 7 tips that will help you in a Job Interview in English

TIPS

  • Practice ‘parroting’ videos. Use the SEDA Online videos and play them repeatedly. Practice saying a few words that the teacher says. Pause after the teacher says a few words, then repeat them immediately by yourself. One you feel comfortable repeating a few words accurately, then try a sentence, then a few sentences, This will greatly improve your speaking and listening.
  • Listen to a podcast and repeat after the speaker… “Here’s the Thing” is highly recommended due to the accuracy and elegance of the host, Alec Baldwin’s, speaking voice.
  • Try recording yourself to really hear how well you are speaking. Listen to a recording, then record yourself repeating it. Then playback the original followed by yourself to compare. This will allow you to self-correct.
  • Practice speaking with a native speaker either on skype or face to face if possible. This allows for trial and error at the moment and will help you achieve improvement in your speaking much more quickly.
  • Reading and listening practice can be combined with the fun of music to create a great study practice. Print out or write down the lyrics(words in a song) to your favorite song in English, you can easily find them online. Read/sing along with the song, practice it over and over again until you know all the words from memory.

Listening

Improving listening skills often means incorporating the skills of reading and speaking. Listening can be a difficult skill to perfect due to the multitude of accents in English. Many students are accustomed to the simple and bland American Accents portrayed in Hollywood films. These do not reflect how most native speakers sound. This means it’s really important to expose oneself to the varying other accents which are common with native speakers. We recommend listening to materials created in the Southern United States, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, and Scotland to really improve your ear.

TIPS

  • Watch the “Harry Potter” films, first with subtitles to understand the plot. Then immediately repeat the film/films with no subtitles. If you don’t understand a word or scene, repeat it with subtitles so that you do understand, then watch again with no subtitles to train your ear. This film series will expose you to many English, Scottish, and Irish accents to really open your ears. You will understand almost 50% of the accents of English after that.

  • Next, you want to train your ear to understand Australian accents and the south of the USA. Watch films like, “Mad Max”(the original), “Fried Green Tomatoes”, and “Dirty Harry”, to understand those more difficult accents. Start first with subtitles again, then rewatch without subtitles until you feel you can understand almost every word perfectly.
  • Watch a film without looking at it, close your eyes and just listen for 10 mins… then rewind and watch it with eyes open… did you understand what was happening just by listening???
  • Audiobooks are great for listening practice. Choose an audiobook ( often found on youtube) of a book that you have already read in your language. Listen to it in English and you will learn lots of new vocabulary, but still understand because you read it before.
  • You can also learn a lot and practice your listening to podcasts. Suggested podcasts include… “Here’s the Thing”, “Clear and Vivid”, “The Allusionist”, “The Bugle”, “An Irishman Abroad”, and “Maeve in America”. All of these have been chosen with content, accent, and relatability in mind.

SEDA College Online is a platform for those who wish to learn English online. Access now http://www.sedacollegeonline.com/courses.

Share:

20 words about food that differ between British English and American English

Like we mentioned before, there are words that differ between British English and American English. Normally, we learn American English, and that is why some words, expressions, and pronunciation from the British English are new. Therefore, we present here 20 words that differ used to refer to types of food. Check them out!

British English VS American English

1) Dessert |Afters (informal) 

Even though the most common word is still ‘dessert’ for both nations, if you hear someone asking for an ‘after’ in a restaurant, don’t think they want to take the party somewhere else.

2) Aubergine | Eggplant

Europeans might be confused if you ask for an ‘eggplant’.

3) Banger (informal) | Sausage 

Another word that is very common is ‘sausage’, however, the original in Europe is banger.

4) Biscuit | Cookie 

This is well known and you probably studied about it at school. If you go to America and order a biscuit, don’t be surprised if you get a cake.

5) Candy floss | Cotton candy

Candy floss? Cotton candy is known like that in the UK. The original is ‘Fairy Floss’ and it is used in countries like New Zealand and Australia.

6) Chips | French fries 

If you order chips while in Europe, they will give you some French Fries, as known in America.


READ MORE: 45 words that differ from American to British English

7) Crisps | Chips 

As explained before, crisps are like ‘Pringles’ and ‘Ruffles’, because chips are fries.

8) French Toast | Eggy bread (informal) 

Exactly the same dish, but with different names. In British English, it is more specific.

9) Fizzy drink | Soda 

Even though ordering a soda by its name, Fizzy drink is a more common name in Europe.

10) Ice Lolly | Popsicle

People usually say ice cream, but they actually have a name.

11) Jam | Jelly 

If you want to order it, in Europe you can obtain it by the name ‘jam’, however, some places are called ‘marmalade’.

12) Jelly | Jell-o 

It is not common in the UK to use ‘jell-o’ to refer to jelly, since it is a brand, not a product in general.

13) Maize | Corn 

A simple word, similar to Spanish, for example.

14)  Prawn |Shrimp 

Se você tem dúvidas, é melhor apontar o que você quer, porque em alguns lugares da Europa eles até podem chamar shrimps para os camarões.

If you have doubts, it is better to point out what you want.


READ MORE: 10 fun facts you didn’t know about English

15) Scone | Biscuit 

A type of little cake.

16) Starter | Appetizer 

You might also find the word ‘entree’. The most common in UK is Starter, an easy word to remember since it is related to ’start’.

17) Sweet | Candies

625800902

Both are understandable, but in Europe, ‘sweets’ is more common.

18) Tin | Can 

Even though ‘can’ may be used in both continents, in Europe ‘tin’ is more common.

19) Toastie | Grilled cheese

Exactly the same, ‘toastie’ is very used in the UK and in Ireland.

20) Toffee | Taffy 

The difference here is that the caramel is less sweet than the traditional one.

As you can see, some differences are complex and they are what your teachers call collocations.

SEDA College Online is a platform for those who wish to learn English online. Access now http://www.sedacollegeonline.com/courses.

Share:
inglês para au pair

The importance of English for Au Pairs

Au pair work is very popular abroad and it is more common for women between 18 and 25 years old, who seek contact with the culture of a different country. Are you thinking about living this experience? Check here the importance of English for Au Pairs and get to know more about the profession!

As an au pair, the student lives with a local family, in their house, taking care of babies and kids, aiding on school homework, feeding them, taking them to doctors appointments whenever necessary.

One of the most attractive aspects of au pair work, besides having direct contact with the language, the job is paid, allowing people to study during free time, go out on days off and get to know better the place where they are living.

No matter the chosen country for the job, it is important to have some knowledge in English, even if it’s basic, it must be good. This happens because the activities done with the family require understanding the parents and what the kids want to reply to their needs and work as well as possible.


READ MORE: The importance of English for bartenders

Au Pair in Ireland

The job is not officially regulated and some families think Au pairs also do housework like cooking, washing and ironing clothes, cleaning the house, for example. Therefore, it is necessary to negotiate and sign the terms and every detail with the family, before getting the job. If possible, formalize in a contract so there won’t be any misunderstood. Still, is a job that is sought by many during an exchange program.

Au Pair in the United States

The job is regulated by the government and the responsible organizations responsible for the activity are committed to the program and offer all the support needed to the participants. The visa for this program allows Au pairs to study as well.

Here, English is already used as a test during the selection process, in which people need to record a video introducing themselves in the language.

Wherever it is, to start your job as an Au pair, it is important to know the specific vocabulary in English used in the house routine and children activities, check some examples:

  • baby
  • newborn
  • toddler
  • crib
  • baby bottle
  •  pacifier
  •  highchair
  • bib
  • blocks
  • baby food
  • rattle
  • stroller
  • wipes
  • bathtub
  • shower
  • towels
  • rubber duckies
  • baby powder
  • diaper/nappy
  •  potty
  • tissues
  •  blanket
  • child, children, kid
  • teenager
  • curfew
  • timeout
  • toys
  •  drum
  •  rocket
  • scooter
  • trampoline
  •  swing
  • slide
  • see-saw
  • sand box
  • merry-go-round
  • puppets
  • snack
  • spooky
  • choo-choo
  • boo-boo
  • tippy toe
  • ring around the rosie
  • hide and seek
  • pink promise
  • nap
  • bunny:
  • puppy
  • tootsie
  • tummy
  • belly buttom
  • goofy, silly
  • naughty
  •  picky
  • teeny weeny
  •  super duper
  • playdate
  •  ops-a-daisy
  • mind your manners
  • nighty nighty

Besides words, the most used sentences must be very well trained:

  • Are you hungry?
  • Do you want orange juice?
  • You have to say “please”.
  • Don’t forget to say thank you!
  • Please, put this down.
  • Pull up your pants.
  • Put your shoes on.
  • Take off your shoes.
  • Don’t throw your toys.
  • Be nice to your brother.
  • Stop crying and use your words.
  • Do you want to go to time out?
  • Please, pick up your toys.
  • Time for a nap.
  • What do you want for lunch?
  • Don’t do that.
  • Let’s go to the playground!
  • Stay close to me.
  • Hold my hand.
  • I’m going to catch you!

—-

SEDA College Online is a platform for those who wish to learn English online. Access now http://www.sedacollegeonline.com/courses.

Share: